To prepare a useful, considered study timetable to use in preparation for the Mock Exams and then to build on for the real exams in May.
Step 1 – Key Events
Look at the master study plan and block out days you will not be able to study.
- In the Event / Exam columns write any key events already planned that will influence your availability to study on that day such as travelling, sports events, brother’s birthday etc.
Step 2 – Consider your Total Time
For each day of your master study plan write how much time you are prepared / able to commit to study on that day.
- It might be anything from 1 to 8 hours on a day.
- For the study timetable to be successful your time allocations must be realistic!
Step 3 – Prioritising your Study Time
Prioritise your subjects by considering such things as your grades, prior assessments and reports, so you can decide which subjects you find the hardest or need the most revision time, and which need the least. Write this down as a list.
- This is a key step to a successful revision programme.
Considering your priorities, decide on the number of hours you will spend revising for each subject.
- You do not have to use the same time for each subject.
- Make sure they add up to your total study time.
- You could decide the hours of study for each subject by deciding the % of your time you will spend on each subject.
- You should give more time to the subjects at the top of your list.
Step 4 – Allocating your Study Time
Take the subject at the top of your list and break the total hours across your master study plan.
- Make sure you allocate some time every week to each subject.
- Spend no less than 1 and no more than 4 hours each day on any one subject.
- On the day before an exam study only that subject/s.
Step 5 - Highlighting your Master Study Plan
Colour code your different subjects study times and the actual exam times so you can clearly see your patterns of study.
Step 6 – Creating Focused Study Timetables
Now transfer your master study plan details onto a weekly/daily study timetable. On this plan you will decide exactly when each day you will do the study you have planned.
- Identify a highly SPECIFIC TOPIC that you will revise, not just Maths or Geography.
- Consider the events on that day.
- Consider when you study best.
- Consider in what time chunks you study best.
- You can do this all at once or week by week closer to the time.
Step 7 – Sticking to it
You must endeavour to stick to your master study plan and your focused study timetable as closely as possible.
- If events occur that mean you lose a study session, try to find another time to make that lost time up and alter your master and/or focused plan accordingly.
- The only reason you do not make that time up elsewhere should be if it means overloading you. Balance is key to success.
Step 8 – Effective Revision Strategies
Allocating time itself and sticking to it will not guarantee success unless you use your study time effectively!
- Use revision techniques that are going to maximise your learning.
- Be focused and efficient when revising.
- Remember what you have been taught about effective revision methods and use the ones that work for you!
Step 9 – Review and Reflect
Each week review and reflect on your study programme and how effective you found it
- Reflect on your WWW and EBI.
- After the final exam, reflect overall on what you would do the same for the May exams and what you would do differently. Make a note of 10 things I’m going to do to ace my exams in May and refer back to it.
Work Cited: Laurence Hedges, Lance King, Graham Maclure, Laura Swash. IB Skills: A Practical Guide to ATL. International Baccalaureate Organisation, 2012.